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Can this lending buy-to-let startup help agents sell more homes?

Dot says it will do all the legwork of acquiring and managing buy-to-let properties for landlords via a single button on agents' websites.

Nigel Lewis

buy-to-let dot

A buy-to-let finance start-up founded by the entrepreneur behind crowd-funding mortgage firm Landbay says it wants to help agents sell properties faster and in greater volumes.

Officially launched this week after being set-up in November last year, Dot offers agents and developers a one-click buy-to-let purchase button for their ‘properties for sale’ listings (see mock-up above) which, the company’s claims suggest, could offer an antidote to the current sluggish sales market.

Dot says its online button removes most of the barriers to property investment for buyers and will only be added to properties that are suitable for landlords.

After clicking the button, investors will be offered the opportunity to buy the property on the spot if they put down a 30% cash deposit via Dot.

The company then buys the property and pays all the purchase costs and Stamp Duty on their behalf, organises a mortgage and then, after furnishing it, pays a monthly income to the buyer.

Buy-to-let business

What’s not clear yet is who will manage the properties on the investor’s behalf – Dot or the agent who sells it – as many combined sales and letting agents often manage the rental properties they help sell.

Dot is the brainchild of Gray Stern (pictured, above), who in 2013 co-founded peer-to-peer lending platform Landbay and Fraser Armstrong-Watters,  who until recently headed up the operations and finance arm of online estate agent Settled.

Stern clearly wants to emulate the success of Landbay which, although it has only a small market share of the UK buy-to-let lending market, recently revealed that sold 130 mortgages worth £26.8m during the first three months of this year.

“Dot enables anyone with a 30 percent deposit to become a professional property investor instantly, with none of the hassle of being a landlord,” says Stern.

“Every Dot Container comes complete with a pre-approved mortgage, insurance, legal/conveyancing, tax compliance and reporting, lettings and management, furnishings and everything else required to turn that property into a compliant, well-managed and good-looking rental home.”

Dot Funding Ltd,  the company behind Dot,  has so far received £1.5 million in pre-seed venture capital  funding from a US investment firm.

Read more about Landbay.

May 29, 2018

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